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Evolving Nature of the English Language

Studies in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics


Edited By Robert Kiełtyka and Agnieszka Uberman

This volume presents a collection of interdisciplinary papers pertaining to the most thought-provoking problems in the areas of both theoretical and applied linguistics. The contributors focus on contemporary developments in morphological, semantic and pragmatic theorizing. The contributions are also devoted to various aspects of the methodology of teaching English as well as some intricacies of translation.

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The Colour of Endurance: Figurative Semantics of Green (Agnieszka Uberman)


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Agnieszka Uberman

The Colour of Endurance: Figurative Semantics of Green

Abstract: The colour green is universally associated with hope and life. It is interesting to verify whether the presence of the colour term in diverse linguistic expressions confirms such a common belief. The present discussion intends to analyse the semantics of the lexicon containing the colour term in question. It focuses on English phrases and expressions and aims to compare them with existing Polish equivalents in search of shared underlying concepts. The possible areas of diverse metaphorisation shall also be highlighted.

Keywords: colour terms, green, metaphorical meaning, endurance, life

Colour in language

Colour is the phenomenon so naturally present in human life that it seems unnecessary to ponder. Undoubtedly, it is a daunting task to delimit the various shades of any given colour, as “the borderline between different colours is fuzzy (there is no single line in the spectrum where red stops and orange begins)” (Heider 1972 quoted in Wyler 2006, 95). Webster and Kay (2012, 375) stress the fact that colours are categorised with the application of “a small set of discrete verbal labels”. They also add that strong resemblances have been observed cross-culturally for naming colours by different language communities, yet, at the same time, the demarcation lines between diverse colours in the spectrum are placed differently.

Wierzbicka1 (1990, 99) notes that “the hardest things to observe are those which one sees everyday...

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